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Bathrooms and Other Benefits 2: More Benefits

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Title: Bathrooms and Other Benefits: More Benefits

Author: Sara B.

E-mail: sabo727@tampabay.rr.com

URL: http://sabo727.tripod.com/

Rating: Over Sixteen

Category: Angst, Heavy MSR

Spoilers: My previous story Bathrooms and Other Benefits (located on my site)

Summary:  Mulder and Dana’s relationship has moved on.  They are getting ready to be married and they want to adopt each others child.  Enter the dragon, sorry, Diana.

Feedback:  You want to do it, I know you do.  Come on it is so easy!

Archive: I would be honored, just let me know.

Disclaimer:  The recognized characters are used Without Prejudice and are the property of C. Carter, Fox and the wonderful actors who breathed life into written words, most notably G. Anderson and D. Duchovny who were able to make us believe in the improbable.  No Infringements of these copyrights are intended, and are used here without permission.  The story and before unknown characters belongs to me.

Gratitude: To Kim Knight, you are the best, thank you.  To my Dennis, enough said.  To CC and Company, who created the X-Files.  Lastly, but my no means least, to the readers, you make this hobby of mine have meaning.

Author’s Notes:  I had not planned to continue this story but I was, strongly forc, oops, threat, ah, persuaded, yes, persuaded to write a sequel.  Nina, Dev, you may now get that damned prod away from me. 

This story is dedicated to everyone who asked for the sequel (– read that – blame them not me).  Love to you all!

 

Bathrooms and Other Benefits: More Benefits

Sara B. 3/06

 

Dana walked into the house exhausted; she was looking forward to a nice shower and a quiet evening in.  Mulder was picking up the kids and some Italian on the way home so she had about an hour to just relax.  Trina met her at the bottom of the stairs looking extremely upset. 

“Dana, there is a woman waiting for you in the living room.  She told me her name was Diana Fowley-Mulder.”

“What?  Oh, my God.  What does she want with me?”  It was a rhetorical question.  “Did she say anything about Mulder or Sam?”

Trina was taking Dana’s case and coat.  “She only mentioned you.”

 

Dana walked into the room exuding more confidence than she felt.  A dark haired woman that she recognized from photos she’d seen was sitting in the wing back chair watching the room’s entrance.  The woman was much older than the photos Mulder had shown her.  She looked hardened and jaded.

Dana saw the woman’s mouth move into a superior sneer upon her entrance.  “Ms. Fowley. . .” Dana began but was interrupted.

“Fowley-Mulder,” the woman corrected.

“Mulder told me that you never used his last name.  How may I help you, Ms. Fowley?”

Diana Fowley shrugged her shoulders.  “Don’t you mean what do I want?”  The woman’s voice grated on Dana’s nerves.

“If you prefer.  What do you want?”  Dana repeated after the woman.  She didn’t want this woman around when the children returned.

“Not one for small talk, are you?  I suppose I understand.  I received this from my attorney and I caught the first plane back from Europe.”  She held up some papers.  “It says you want to adopt my child, I won’t have it.  I have instructed my attorneys to start working on it.  I’m telling you now, I will take Sam away from Fox and neither of you will see her again.”

“Diana!”  Mulder yelled from the entrance.  “I’ll be damned before I let you near Sam.  Get out and stay the hell away from us.”

“Okay, Fox.  I’ll go for now, but this isn’t the end of it.”

“Dana, are you alright?  Did she do anything?”  Mulder pulled her into a desperate hug. 

“I’m fine, Mulder.  Why is she doing this?  She hasn’t even seen Sam since she was a baby.  No cards or letters, not even a birthday present.”

Mulder loosened his embrace only enough so he could look into her eyes.  “It was fine while I was miserable.  She nearly ruined any chance I had of happiness.  I moved from woman to woman using them trying to punish her but only hurting myself.  She never could have predicted I’d meet someone like you.  Someone so different from her; someone who really makes me happy.”

Dana smiled and cupped his cheek.  “I love you, you know.”

“I was afraid she’d try something like this.  I’ve already talked with my attorney, Walter Skinner, and he’s taken some steps.  He has some people looking into things for us.”  He kissed her hair.  “Walter says that Diana’s own actions and that Sam relates to you as her mother will negate anything she might try and pull.”

“Mulder, where. . .”

“Trina went to get them and pick up our dinner.  She called me when Diana arrived demanding to see you.  She thought you might like some back up.”

“She was right, not that I couldn’t take Diana if it came down to it.”  She jutted her chin out and took a boxing pose trying to cut the tension.

Mulder couldn’t help but laugh.  “My little light weight.  Diana wouldn’t know what hit her.”

“Hey, I’m the mother of two, she wouldn’t stand a chance.   And who you calling little?”  She held out her hand and started toward the stairs.  “Come on, I think we might have time for a shower before they get home.”  Mulder stopped just behind her, “Mulder?”

“Give me a moment.  The picture of you naked with hot, steamy water sluicing down your skin just took residence in my mind.”

Dana moved to him and pulled him down so she could whisper in his ear.  “If you’d get those size twelves moving you’d see it live and in person.”  Mulder scooped her up and headed to the elevator.

 

~

Mulder and Dana had just finished dressing when the door to their bedroom burst open and Will and Sam ran in.  “Hey, what did we tell you about knocking?”  Mulder said sternly but not angrily.

“Aw, dad, we never had to knock when it was only Dana.”  Sam said in her best ‘Mulderesque’ whine.  Dana and Will hid their smiles behind their hands but no one could miss the twinkle in their eyes.

“Sam,” Mulder warned.

“Okay, but it isn’t even night time.  We knew you wouldn’t be sleeping.”  She replied while giving him a knowing look. 

‘Damn,’ he thought, ‘nine going on thirty.’  He looked at Dana wearily and she just pointed toward him.  He got the message loud and clear: like father, like daughter.  Mulder knew when he was licked.  “Come on, let’s go down and eat.

 

After dinner the kids went up to do their homework while their parents snuggled on the couch.  “So, you want to update me on the latest wedding plans?”  Mulder asked.

“Ugh, I’d forgotten how hard it was to plan these things.  I’m thankful we’re going for a small wedding and not some big blown out affair.”

“Me too.  Diana insisted on the whole experience.  It was a nightmare.  The whole cathedral thing, five hundred of our nearest and dearest, most of which neither of us knew.

”I’ll never forget the incident with bridesmaid’s dresses.  The dresses came in and they were the wrong color, Summer Sky not Spring Blue, or something.  She had them sent back, all nine of them.  When they came in again, I swear, I couldn’t see any difference.  Her brother was one of the groomsmen and he broke his leg a couple weeks before the wedding and was in a walking cast.  She wanted to replace him.  Her own brother.

“Her dress was so ornate that you only saw it.  It was like this white shining blob floating down the aisle, you just didn’t see her at all; just saw that stupid dress.

“What was your first wedding like?”

“Jamie and I didn’t want anything too elaborate but when Maggie Scully and Nadine Dorsett got together it was anything goes.  Three bridesmaids in peach sheaths with a deeper colored trim, Missy’s maid of honor dress was the reverse.  Mulder, it’s a wonder Missy ever forgave me, a redhead in that orange color, she looked hideous.  The only thing that saved our relationship was that I didn’t choose the dresses.  Mom and Nadine struck again.

“Besides I had my own nightmare to deal with; the wedding dress.  It was this lace creation that was Jamie’s grandmother’s dress and it itched terribly.  I felt as attractive as a potato sack.  The darned thing made me break out and Jamie spent our wedding night putting Calamine lotion on me instead of enjoying our new wedded bliss.”

“Poor guy,” Mulder commiserated.

“Poor me.  We waited, Mulder.”

“Waited?”  He repeated, not comprehending for a moment.  Suddenly he pulled back and looked at her.  “Are you telling me that Jamie was your first lover?”  She nodded, “and I was your second?”  Dana nodded again.  “Damn, woman, you are a fine study or Jamie was a great teacher.  That’s all I can say. 

“I wasn’t Diana’s first anything.  Not first lover, not her first husband and Sam was not even her first pregnancy.  She’d had two abortions before she met me.  I found out when I went with her during her pregnancy with Sam.”  Mulder kissed the palm of her hand. 

“Now enough of those past weddings; what’s going on with our wedding?”

“I told our mothers not to expect much.  That neither of us wanted anything elaborate.  I spoke with Fr. McCue and he said he’d perform the ceremony here if we wanted.”

“I think that would be great.”  Mulder looked around the room.  “In front of the fireplace.  The room is big enough to fit everyone we want.  Is Missy standing up with you again?

Do you want me in a suit or tux?”

Dana watched the excitement in his face and nearly cried.  A year ago if anyone would have suggested that Mulder was getting married to anyone, let alone her, she would have walked away laughing.  He caught her eye.  “Hey, when a guy finds the right one he doesn’t like to wait.”  Mulder moved to kiss her tenderly.  “Besides, once the wedding is out of the way we get to have the wedding night.” 

She pushed on his shoulder, “you flirt.  Need I remind you that we’ve been living together for some time now?  There won’t be any surprises.”

“It’s always a surprise with you, a wonderful surprise.”  He began an all out offensive of seduction. 

 

~

Mulder and Dana were sitting in Attorney Walter Skinner’s office.  Neither could believe what he’d just told them; Diana was fighting for custody of Samantha.

“Mulder, Dana, I can almost guarantee she doesn’t have a chance but judges are strange about birth mothers.  I’ve already contacted the investigators.”  He handed Mulder a card, Jorime Discrete Investigations, J. Byers, R. Langly and M. Frohike.

“I’ve used them on numerous occasions.  They are the best in the business.”

Dana took the card from Mulder and looked at it for a moment.  “I want to meet them.”  The two men just looked at her waiting.  “Diana Fowley may be a thorn in my side.  She may be a lousy person and she’s most definitely a terrible mother.  But she is Sam’s mom and I don’t want anything to hurt our girl.  I need to make them understand that.”

Mulder never loved her more than at that moment.  Skinner looked on with envy.  “Dana, I assure they understand but I’ll set up an appointment.”

 

~

Dana set the tray on the coffee table and handed out the drinks.  These three men were nothing like she’d expected private investigators to look like.  John Byers seemed bookish and reminded her of a statistician or maybe a librarian.  Of the three he was the most normal looking.  Richard, or as he preferred, Ringo Langly, with his blonde hair, glasses and ‘Ramones’ tee shirt made him look like a walking, talking definition of computer geek.  The last one, Melvin Frohike, was the closest to resembling her idea of a PI.  She could see him peering through windows and listening to private conversations.  These three men were so different that she didn’t doubt they made a formidable team. 

“Dr. Scully, Dr. Mulder, we like to start our investigations by looking into the backgrounds of our clients.”  Byers began.  “Dr. Mulder, before you and Dr. Scully started your romantic relationship you had a number of short term relationships.  During these relationships you often stayed away from your daughter overnight and quite a number of times for entire weekends.  There were even some separate vacations.”  Mulder began to protest but Byers raised his hand.  “Dr. Mulder, please understand, we are not making judgments.  We need this background so that we know what our clients might be up against.  Besides, even with the absences there is a lot of evidence that you are a caring and loving father to Samantha.  You always made sure she was in the best care available at all times.  We interviewed several of your former lady friends and they all agreed that Samantha always came first.  It was their only complaint.”

Melvin Frohike opened a file and read for a moment.  “Dr. Scully, the only thing I can say about you is that you are a workaholic.  No romances since your husband died.  That is until now.  You are a devoted mother and you are dedicated to your practice.  Young Samantha knows you as the only mother she recognizes.”

“You didn’t question her did you?”  Scully was angered at the idea, she did not want either child involved if it could be helped.

“No, we will not bother the children.  We’ve spoken with friends and colleagues even the people at the children’s school.  We explained that you are seeking to adopt Samantha and we are performing the necessary background checks.”  Frokhike’s eyes flicked to his partners.  “Dr. Scully, this is going to be an uneasy thing for you, and please believe me when I say it is just part of being thorough, but do you have any objections into our looking into your husband’s accident?”

Dana was clearly shaken by the question and Mulder held her.  “Is that really necessary?  I mean, his death was investigated by the police.  Is there anything specific you expect to find?”

“No, no, nothing like that.  It is just that we never know where an investigation leads and if you have a problem we need to know now, just in case.”  Byers answered calmingly but Mulder noticed a look pass between the three men.  There was something they hadn’t said but he decided to let it be, for now.

Dana sat up a little.  “If you find yourself in that situation feel free to look into it.  I doubt you will find anything but if you do maybe we’ll find out who caused the accident.  It won’t bring Jamie back but maybe he’ll rest easier.”

“Have you spoken to the children about the situation?”  Langly asked.  Mulder and Dana both shook their heads no.  “I understand that you believe it would be easier if you wait.  That maybe if things go right you won’t have to address it.  We recommend that you talk to them now.  Give them an overview of what’s going on.”  Dana was about to protest.  “Believe me, it will be easier if they are forewarned than if something happens and they get surprised.”

 

~

Langly sat at the keyboard working his magic.  He’d already gotten some very interesting and possibly damaging hits on Diana Fowley, Diana Fowley-Mulder and Diana Mulder.  His network of cyber gremlins were busy following several promising leads.  “So, what did you two think of them?”  He called out over his shoulder to his colleagues.

“I liked him a lot more than I expected.  I wasn’t thinking too kindly toward him from our preliminary report.  But now that he’s with her he seems to have really cleaned up his act.”  Byers replied.

“And she’s seemed too good to be true but now that I’ve met her I wish I’d found someone like her.”  Frohike added and his friends seem to concur. 

“Hey, Frohike, why’d you pick on her husband’s accident?  You don’t suspect that it was anything more than some fool driving under the influence running off, do you?”

“Mostly I just wanted their reactions but,” he searched through the folders next to him and pulled out two and the three of them went to the conference table.  “I ran into this little anomaly.”  He pointed to an item in the first folder then to something else in the other.

“Damn!  Good call, eagle eyes, good call.  I’ll get on it right away.”  Langly ran back to his computers.

“Impressive,” Byers added.  “I’ll give my friend on the force a call and see if we can get a look-see at the evidence.” 

 

~

Mulder and Dana entered the principal’s office.  Her face registered controlled anger while his showed pure rage, and he aimed it at the woman sitting in the visitor’s chair.  Dana put her hand on his sleeve and he took a deep breath. 

“Mr. Callahan,” Dana’s voice hid none of her disgust for the situation.  “Please explain why we shouldn’t have you taken before the board of the school?  Why would you allow an unauthorized person access to Samantha?”

“Dr. Scully, Ms. Fowley-Mulder produced evidence that she is the child’s mother.”    The large man said with authority rarely challenged as he handed over the copy of the birth record.  He knew he was in trouble when he saw the smile on Dana’s face.

“Her name is Diana Fowley, not Fowley-Mulder.  Are either of those names listed on the form all parents are required to complete identifying all person’s allowed to have contact with their children?  The form Dr. Mulder, Samantha’s legally identified and recognized parent with guardianship, completed and should be on file.  You did bother to pull the form, didn’t you?”  The man turned beet red.  “Huh, I see, now would you explain you’re reasoning for allowing her access to my son?”  The man couldn’t speak.  “Okay, shall we try an easier one?  Can you give me one reason for not notifying other parents of this serious breach of the safety of our children?”

“Safety?  She’s Samantha’s mother.”  Callahan protested.

Mulder finally calmed down enough to use his voice.  “Besides a copy of Sam’s birth certificate, which can be purchased by anyone, did you bother to find out anything of her background?”

“Fox!  What are you implying?”

“I’m implying that the school that I trust my child to has not acted responsibly toward my child’s safety.  If Sam hadn’t called, in tears I might add, I would not even have been notified.”  Mulder threw his hands up and started pacing.  “Did you even ask the question as to why, after Sam has been going to this school since pre-kindergarten, that this is the first time you’ve met this woman?”

“Mulder calm down.  I think Mr. Callahan might be seeing the error of his poor judgment.”

“Thank you, Dr. Scully. . .” Callahan’s face showed his relief.

“Oh, don’t thank me I called Belinda McCormack on the drive over here.”  She turned to Diana to explain.  “Belinda is the president of the school’s board of directors.”  Dana turned back to Callahan, “she said there would be a meeting Thursday evening.  You are invited too, Ms. Fowley.  Now, if you will excuse us we need to see to our children.  They were both extremely upset by today’s annoyances.”

Mulder ushered Dana to the door and they heard Diana yell, “this isn’t over, Fox.  This isn’t over by a long shot.”

Mulder just leaned forward and whispered to Dana, “I’m glad those three guys told us to talk to the kids before this fiasco.”

 

~

Walter Skinner directed his clients into the conference room where the three investigators from Jorime waited.  John Byers called him earlier and asked to meet with him and Drs. Mulder and Scully as soon as possible.  They told him a little of what they had so he confirmed it with Mulder and cleared his calendar.  He also arranged to have Ms. Fowley and her attorney there two hours later.

Byers waited for everyone to be seated.  He could see the trepidation in their client’s faces.  “I think what we have to show you will relieve any fears you might have.  My colleague here, Melvin Frohike, noticed something that led us to the right direction.  Langly,” Langly began the slide show from the computer.  “Dr. Mulder, do you recognize this vehicle?”  There was the picture of a late model BMW on the screen.  The right front fender was badly damaged.

“Except for the damage, it looks like Diana’s old car.  What of it?”

“We’ll get to that.  Dr. Scully, do you remember what they said about the other vehicle in your husband’s accident?”

“They said there was light metallic paint on Jamie’s truck, transfer they called it.  They also said there was no indication that the other car braked.  Witnesses said that the other driver increased her speed to get away.”

“This vehicle was recently located at Absecom’s You Store It.  The storage locker has been rented out to the same person since the day after that accident.”

“Are you saying. . .”  Dana looked closer at the screen.  “Is that the car?”

“Yes, that is the car that caused the accident; it was last registered to Diana Fowley. 

“Dr. Mulder, our records show that at the time of the accident you and Diana Fowley had been separated for approximately six weeks.  Would you be surprised that she entered the Tivoli Rehab Center the next day?  Or that upon admission her tox screen registered that she had a high level of Demerol in her system and that she did not have a prescription? ”

Mulder’s head fell forward.  “Oh, dear God!  Diana killed Jamie, that’s what you are saying.  She got doped up and she killed him.”  He looked at Dana and closed his eyes.  He knew she blamed him.  Diana was ruining his life again.  Suddenly he jumped up and ran from the room.  Dana was quick on his heels. 

“Mulder, stop!  Please stop.”  He kept going.  “Fox William Mulder, I love you, get your ass back here, now!”  She yelled after him stopping him in his tracks.  Everyone in the area stopped too.

Mulder turned and looked at her for a moment, trying to read that she meant what she’d said; she did, it was plain on her face, she still loved him.  They shortened the distance between them and she took his face in her hands.

“I know what you’re thinking, but, Mulder, to blame you for what she did would be like blaming Will for wanting to be born or me for going into labor.  It would be like blaming Jamie for trying to get to me as fast as he could.  Diana Fowley may have caused the accident, but it was still an accident.  She may have been driving impaired but there is nothing, nothing you could have done about it.”  She was steering them back to the conference room.

Walter pulled out the chair for Dana.  “Thank you, now were do we go from here?”  She asked.

“We will turn over our evidence to the police and they can take it from there.”

Mulder took Dana’s hand and kissed it.  “I don’t think so,” she said slowly.”

“Dana, what?  Don’t you want her prosecuted?”

“Mulder, the only thing I want out of this is Samantha and for Diana Fowley to be out of our lives.  Prosecuting Diana Fowley can only hurt our girl.  Walter, draw up an agreement for her to sign relinquishing all rights to Samantha and give her blessing to the adoption.  Also stipulate that she will not try to contact any of us.  After Sam had reached her majority, should she want to, she can contact Ms. Fowley, but it has to be Sam’s decision.”  Dana paused for a moment.  “Oh, and she has to submit to a complete work up for donor compatibility just in case.  And if she is compatible to donate to Sam she needs to keep Walter informed of her whereabouts.”

The five men in the room just looked at her in awe.  Mulder broke out laughing, “my little lioness protecting her cubs.”

“Who you calling little?”

 

~

Mulder found Dana standing on the bedroom’s balcony overlooking the Smokey Mountains.  The sky was all pink, purple and orange and the leaves were in full autumn splendor, it made for a riotous combination of color.  This cabin made it feel like they were the only two people in the world. 

Dana had the phone in her hand and he took it from her.  “How are they?”  He surrounded her, trapping her against the railing. 

“We are going to have so much trouble when we get them back from my parents.  I’m afraid they are spoiled for life.”  She turned to face him and they kissed.  A huge smile broke out on her face.

“What?”  Mulder asked as he began nibbling on her neck.

 “Sam called me Mom, Mulder, she called me Mom and that’s what I am.  I’m your wife and their Mom.  How great is that?”

“Oh, geez!  We’ve only been married for thirty-seven hours and she’s already sex-addled.”  Mulder teased.

“Sex-addled?  I’ll give you sex-addled.”

“I’m in so much trouble.”

“Only if you don’t keep up!”

 

End

For the one person who might be interested Jorime  - JO(hn Byers) RI(chard or Ringo) Langly and ME(vin Frohike). 

 

Bathrooms and Other Benefits 3: Beneficial Dividends

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